Michilimackinac Secrets and Scandals: Histsory Revealed

This new themed weekend will present visitors with a variety of programs focusing on some of Michilimackinac’s lesser known history. Each program will examine an aspect of the Michilimackinac’ past that caused the original residents to gossip and share secrets with one another. All special programs and events included with regular admission to Colonial Michilimackinac. A Mackinac Parks: 125 event!

Michilimackinac Secrets and Scandals: Histsory Revealed

This new themed weekend will present visitors with a variety of programs focusing on some of Michilimackinac’s lesser known history. Each program will examine an aspect of the Michilimackinac’ past that caused the original residents to gossip and share secrets with one another. All special programs and events included with regular admission to Colonial Michilimackinac. A Mackinac Parks: 125 event!

2020 Archaeology Wrap-Up

Lead seal stamed with the mark of the Compagnie des Indes.

The second half of the archaeological field season had similar themes to the first half (see the first half recap here). Again, the most interesting artifact came from the central root cellar. It was a lead seal stamped with the mark of the Compagnie des Indes. The CDI was a French colonial enterprise chartered by the king. The seal would have been attached to a bolt of cloth or other textile imported by the company. It dates to between 1717 and 1769. This, combined with the stratigraphy (layers of soil) surrounding it, indicates that this cellar was in use during the French occupation of the house (mid-1730s to early 1760s) as well as during the later British occupation.

Possible French wall trench.

During the final week of the field season, we saw the first possible evidence of the north wall of the house. It is a strip of gray sand cutting through gold sand. In other units of the southeast rowhouse, the French house is a few feet narrower along the north wall than the British house, but has a porch, which the British house does not. The square the possible trench appeared in is the deepest in its east-west row (the row 210 feet south of the water gate), so it remains to be seen if it extends to the east and west. We do not expect to find the British wall trench and French porch joists until we open the row of squares to the north (the row 205 feet south of the water gate). After the excitement of removing the deep post in the first half of the season, we did not find the bottom of any more squares this summer. We opened the final two squares in the 210 row in the second half of the season. The easternmost is currently at the modern/colonial interface. The westernmost is in the layer of rubble created during the 1781 demolition of the fort. As was the case elsewhere in the house, there were a variety of ceramic sherds present. These included a fragment of a creamware handle, possibly from a pitcher, and a fragment of a polychrome tin-glazed earthenware teacup, similar to one found late last season.

Site packed for the winter.

We have now packed the site for winter and returned to the lab. Watch for a blog post in late winter to see what we learn as we clean and research this season’s finds.  

Hidden Histories: The Grenadiers’ “Mutiny” of 1780

As part of the Mackinac Parks: 125 festivities, we want to explore elements of Colonial Michilimackinac’s history and culture that are not currently well-represented in interpretive programming and exhibits. This walking tour/discussion will focus on the Grenadiers’ “mutiny” of 1780, and will be led by historian(s) from Mackinac State Historic Parks. This is a free event.

Archaeology at Historic Mill Creek

Archaeology played a key role in the development of Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park. After its rediscovery in 1972, excavations happened in 1973-75, 1979, and between 1984-1994. Join Curator of Archaeology Dr. Lynn Evans for a brief history of the site and its excavation, followed by a walking tour of the archaeological sites. This is a free Mackinac Parks: 125 event!

This will be an outdoor event, and all Covid-19 precautions will be followed. We encourage guests to dress for the weather.

 

Gardens and Good Things to Eat

Everyone loves a good meal, including the historic residents of Michilimackinac! Join historic interpreters to tour and help maintain the fort’s gardens, assist with running the outdoor bread oven (and taste the results!), watch meals cooked over an open fire, and learn more about the unique food cultures of Michilimackinac’s French, British, and Native American residents. All special programs included with regular admission to Colonial Michilimackinac. A Mackinac Parks: 125 event!

Schedule of Events:

9:30 a.m. Musket Demonstration
10:00 a.m. Gardens of Michilimackinac Tour
11:00 a.m. Artillery Demonstration
11:30 a.m. Indigenous Food and the Fur Trade Program
12:30 p.m. Cloches and Compost: 18th Century Gardening Techniques Program
1:30 p.m. Musket Demonstration
2:00 p.m. 18th Century Botany and Art
3:00 p.m. John Askin’s Garden Program
3:30 p.m. Artillery Demonstration
4:00 p.m. Breadmaking and Oven Demonstration
5:00 p.m. Gardens of Michilimackinac Tour
6:00 p.m. Soldier’s Food Tour
6:30 p.m. Musket Demonstration